I mentioned in yesterday's Firearm review that by the mid-90's I had tired of "New Universes". Quantum and Woody came out early in the Valiant relaunch but I had abandoned the line completely after the cancellation of Archer and Armstrong and wasn't going back. Though I was tempted genuinely by this series, because it was getting very well reviewed by fans and critics alike, and I've enjoyed most, if not all of Christopher Priest's work to that point (and after).
I suspect the drawbacks at the time were budget and a general dissatisfaction with MD Bright's art tracing back to the late '80's...he's an old-fashioned comic artist, and not as flashy as all the new talents that were emerging at the time (the "Image era"). To be honest, I still don't like his style much, mostly his jowly, square-jawed faces put me off. But I have to concede, nay, appreciate how good a visual storyteller he is.
Of course, Priest nails this one too, with a deft sense of humour that doesn't hold back, particularly when it comes to race. The opening pages, delving into the titular character's history together is the book's highlight and the tease of them in costume without any real explanation is frustrating but clever from a sales standpoint. It's a buddy comedy about two friends who discover they can't stand each other. That's a good character premise in any genre.
The rumors were true. I need to track more of this down in the bargain bin.